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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Fact Sheets

What if I am certified as a DBE in another state?

Please complete our online application form for Interstate DBE status. We will need the original application from your home state, documents used for the original application (taxes, resumes, ownership documents etc.) and the onsite report.

To begin, access the online application system at Once you have created an account you will want to take the following steps:

  1. Click "Apply for or Renew" in the upper right hand corner.
  2. Select "Your firm is currently NOT certified with OMWBE"
  3. Select "Your firm is seeking Federal Certification"
  4. Select "Your firm is NOT located in the state of Washington"
  5. Select "Your firm is certified in your home state"
  6. Submit an Interstate application

Once you begin the application process, you will be asked to upload the required documents.

Does the information I submit to OMWBE become public record?
Whom can I contact for help with my online application?

Please call OMWBE at (360) 664-9750 or Toll Free (866) 208-1064 and ask to speak with a Technical Assistant. You can also email or visit our office any time Monday through Friday from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.

We are located at: 1110 Capitol Way South, Suite 150 Olympia, WA 98501

Click here for directions.

Where can I find resources for small businesses?

You may want to read the Small Business Guide at the Governor's Office of Regulatory Assistance website for information on how to start and operate a small business in Washington.

OMWBE state certification also makes it possible to participate in the Linked Deposit Program, where certified firms can work with linked deposit participating banks to see if they can receive better rates.

How do I apply for certification?

To apply for state certification, federal certification, or both, use our online application system.

How long will it take me to get certified?

It takes about 45 - 90 days to process your certification application depending on the complexity, completeness, and type of your application. Here's what you can expect:

  1. Within a week of receiving your online application, we will email you to let you know we have assigned your application to a certification analyst.
  2. An analyst will review your application and documents, and call you in about two weeks with questions and any needed additional information.
  3. After your analyst receives this additional information, it takes about 4 weeks to analyze your file.
  4. Depending on your certification type, we will contact you to schedule an on-site visit at your business.
  5. Your analyst will conduct the on-site visit and finish processing your application.
  6. Your application then goes through final review, which takes about 1 to 2 weeks.
  7. We will email you a letter once we have made a final decision on your certification.
Does my certification have to be renewed?

State Certification:
If your firm is state certified, you are required to go through a recertification process every three years. OMWBE will email you a renewal notice prior to your renewal date. There is a non-refundable fee based on the business structure of the firm:

Sole Proprietorship: $50
Partnership: $75
Limited Liability Corporation (LLC): $100
Corporation: $100

Federal Certification (DBE and ACDBE):
If your firm is federally-certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) or an Airport Concessionaire Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE), you are required to update your certification each year. OMWBE will email you a renewal notice prior to your anniversary date. There is a non-refundable fee of $20.

Federal Certification (SBE):
If your firm is federally-certified as a Small Business Enterprise (SBE), you are required to go through an annual update process every year. OMWBE will email you a renewal notice prior to your recertification date. There is no fee for a SBE annual update

What is the advantage of being certified with OMWBE?

The Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises (OMWBE) strives to provide equity in contracting and procurement opportunities with local, state and federal governments.

If you are already established or just starting a business, OMWBE certification can:

  • Boost your potential for conducting business with government entities;
  • Significantly increase your visibility through listings on important databases for certified firms and active bids throughout the state; and
  • Provide private-sector companies another opportunity to meet their own supplier diversity goals.
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